CU Olympic Sports

March 12th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Buffs finish fourth at NCAA ski championships

From CUBuffs.com … The Colorado Buffaloes ski team closed out the 2022 season Saturday and finished the NCAA Ski Championships in fourth place after a rough day of skiing here at Soldier Hollow.

Entering the day in fourth, the Nordic teams swung for the fences, not looking to move up one or two spots but aiming for a national championship.  Sometimes when you swing for the fences, you miss, and that’s essentially what happened to the Buffs Saturday.

The men’s team of Magnus BoeeWill Koch and Fredrik Nilsen were among the best teams, and at the lap check points, Boee was fourth after the first lap, Koch was third after the second lap and Nilsen was in 11th at the midpoint of the race.  Boee was feeling ill (he tested negative for COVID) and Nilsen was involved in an unfortunate situation where a skier next to him broke his pole and was reaching for a new one from his coach and the two collided, and he took a knee to the head.

In the end, Boee finished 17th, Koch 23rd and Nilsen 35th and out of scoring position.  The Buffs as a team scored 22 points, but had they held their top positions would’ve scored 85 points and won the race.

The women’s team was led by freshman Hanna Abrahamsson who finished seventh and picked up her second All-America honor in as many days.  Junior Anna-Maria Dietze finished 20th and sophomore Weronika Kaleta 22nd for the Buffaloes.

“I’m disappointed by the overall placement, but absolutely encouraged ty the athletes and how they’ve gone about it, how they’ve grown and where the program is headed.” CU coach Andy LeRoy said. “For sure it stings a little bit to hoist the fourth-place trophy on our way out of town.”

Utah ended up winning the championship with 578 points, scoring 100 points in the women’s race on the strength of a 1-2 finish from Sophia Laukli and Novie McCabe.  Vermont finished second with 511.5 points and in the end, Denver edged the Buffs by just 1.5 points, 436.5-435.

“Having seen enough NCAA championships in my time you hope for good performances, you prepare the athletes for those performances, but when it turns out the way it did today, it’s just part of the sport,” LeRoy said. “We had some things happen this week, Louie Fausa’s ski falls off, the first time all season something like that happened, Fredrik collides with another skier, Magnus was sick.  Things like that happen and they’re part of our sport, unfortunately they do affect the results and as much as you prepare to try and shield your athletes from this type of thing, it happens.”

WHAT IT MEANS: The Buffs ski to win national championships, so anything less on some level is a disappointment.  But you can’t be disappointed with the effort the 2022 team put forth.  You have to take the chances when they come, and if you fall short giving 100 percent, that’s just something that happens in ski racing.  The bottom line is the Buffs showed improvement throughout the season and from all accounts, the program is going in the right direction.

Continue reading story here

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March 11th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Buffs fall out of contention for national championship in Day Three at NCAA championships

From the Daily Camera … In the first three years of her college career, Kaitlyn Harsch was one of the better alpine skiers for Colorado, but not quite to the point of being among the top three representing the Buffaloes at the NCAA championships.

This year, Harsch not only broke into CU’s top three but capped her career as one of the best in the nation.

On Friday at the NCAA ski championships at Park City Resort, Harsch posted an eighth-place finish in the women’s slalom, earning second-team All-American honors in the final race of her collegiate career.

“Honestly, I could not have asked for a better ending to my career,” said Harsch, who grew up in Vail. “I surprised myself honestly. I was not even expecting how well I did first run and then I did even better second run. I’m ecstatic. This day, it’s just sunny and beautiful out here and I couldn’t have asked for a better wrap up for my career, for sure.”

Overall, it was not a great day for the Buffs as a team, as they dropped from second to fourth in the standings. Two-time defending champion Utah is the leader, with 405 points, followed by Vermont (377.5), Denver (372.5) and Colorado (368). CU is still in contention for the title heading into Saturday’s Nordic freestyle races.

Continue reading story here

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March 10th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Two CU skiers claim individual national titles; Buffs in second at midway point of NCAA championships

From the Daily Camera … After four years and some close losses, Filip Forejtek finally got his national title.

Magdalena Luczak got hers on the first try, but it took a whirlwind journey to get there.

On Thursday, the Colorado ski team added two more individual champions to its remarkable history and put itself in a position to contend for the team title over the weekend.

CU is in second place at the mid-point of the NCAA championships. Two-time defending champion Utah has the lead, with 286.5 points, followed by CU (262) and Denver (249). The championships resume with slalom races on Friday and the Nordic freestyle races on Saturday.

The Buffs got the weekend off to a good start with Forejtek and Luczak winning titles in the giant slalom at Park City Resort. In its history, CU has had 100 individual NCAA championships – the first team to reach that mark.

A senior, Forejtek was runner-up in GS in 2020, losing by .02 of a second, and in slalom last year, losing by .06 of a second. This time, he completed his two runs in 1 minute, 57.41 seconds, winning by .73.

“I had a decent first run,” he said. “I know I still can go faster and just push much more and I was able to get it together for the second run. I can’t name a specific reason, but I just had a really good run.”

The only disappointment for Forejtek was in seeing sophomore Louis Fausa lose a ski on his second run, making him unable to finish and score points. Fausa had the fifth-best time through the first run.

Continue reading story here

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March 7th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius …

Jenny Simpson to be inducted into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor

Press release from CUBuffs.com … The Pac-12 Conference today announced the 2022 class to be inducted into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor, the Conference’s most prestigious recognition of the greatest on and off-field contributors to Pac-12 athletics.

Colorado’s Jenny Simpson, formerly Barringer, is the Buffaloes’ representative in the 12-person class. A member of the cross country/track & field teams from 2005-09, Simpson is one of the most decorated athletes in CU history.

Simpson won four NCAA championships, three in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and one in the indoor 3,000, during her collegiate career. She broke six NCAA records and seven school records in 2009 alone, several of which still stand today, including the 5,000-meter record. Simpson is still the only woman to post under four minutes (3:59.89) in the 1,500 in NCAA history, which she ran at the prestigious Prefontaine Classic, finishing second to Ethiopia’s Gelete Burka by 0.01 seconds. She was the only collegiate athlete in the race.

While competing collegiately, she also enjoyed success on the international stage, mostly in the steeplechase, making two world teams and competing at the Olympic Games in 2008. Following graduation, she was named the inaugural winner of the Bowerman Award and was later named the recipient of the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Award.

She won the 2011 World Championship in the 1,500 and was the silver medalist in 2013 and 2017. Simpson captured an Olympic medal in 2016 when she won the bronze medal in the 1,500 in Rio. Simpson has won a total of nine USA track championships.

The other members of the 2022 Pac-12 Hall of Honor class are: Tanya Hughes (Arizona), Curley Culp (Arizona State), Layshia Clarendon (California), English Gardner (Oregon), Steven Jackson (Oregon State), Tony Azevedo (Stanford), Jackie Joyner-Kersee (UCLA), John Naber (USC), Tom Chambers (Utah), Tina Frimpong Ellertson (Washington) and Drew Bledsoe (Washington State).

Formal induction to the Pac-12 Hall of Honor will take place on Friday, March 11 during a private ceremony prior to the semifinals of the 2022 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, presented by New York Life. Following induction, the class will be honored during a special halftime ceremony of the day’s first semifinal matchup at T-Mobile Arena.

Tickets for the 2022 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament are available at Pac-12.com/tickets.

The 2022 Hall of Honor class will be the 20th since its creation in 2002, and the fourth to feature legendary figures from an array of sports after the Pac-12 expanded the field to be inclusive of the broad-based athletics success across the Conference of Champions® history. Following a hiatus in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 class returns the annual recognition as a new inductee from each Pac-12 university is welcome into the Hall of Honor.

“The Pac-12 is honored to recognize the accomplishments of 12 incredible women and men who represent the very best of the Conference of Champions, on and off the fields of play,” said Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff.  “From Olympic gold medalists to Super Bowl champions to NBA All-Stars to WNBA veterans to, of course, collegiate champions, our honorees continue a showcase of our league’s rich tradition of champions.”

Since Colorado joined the Pac-12 Conference, the following former Buffs have been added to the Pac-12 Hall of Honor:
Burdette Haldorson, 2012 (basketball)
Cliff Meely, 2013 (basketball)
Ken Charlton, 2014 (basketball)
Jim Davis, 2015 (basketball)
Scott Wedman, 2016 (basketball)
Chauncey Billups, 2017 (basketball)
Bill Toomey, 2018 (track & field)
Lisa Van Goor, 2019 (basketball)
Bill Marolt, 2020 (skiing; administrator)

Undefeated CU women’s lacrosse team breaks into both national polls

Press release from CUBuffs.com … For the first time this season, the Colorado lacrosse team has found itself ranked in both lacrosse polls. The Buffaloes are 23rd in the IL Women/IWLCA Division I and 19th in the USA Lacrosse Magazine Polls.

The Buffs have received votes in both polls for the last three weeks but finally broke into the rankings after upsetting then-No. 16 Vanderbilt, 18-11, on March 4 in Boulder. CU finished the weekend sweep and improved to 5-0 with a win against UC Davis (17-13) on March 6. This is the second-best start in program history for the Buffs. The best start was in 2017 when CU started 11-0.

Boston College is the top team in both polls this week and North Carolina is second in both as well. Both have recorded 6-0 starts this year.

Colorado is one of two Pac-12 teams in the IL Women/IWLCA Poll this week as Southern California (3-0) is ranked 17th while Stanford (1-4) is receiving votes. The Trojans are also 17th in the USA Lacrosse Magazine Poll.

IWLCA Division I Coaches Poll

RankInstitution (Record)PointsLast Week
1 Boston College (6-0)600 (24)1
2 North Carolina (6-0)5762
3 Syracuse (5-1)5273
4 Maryland (5-0)5134
5 Northwestern (4-2)5086
6 Stony Brook (2-1)4695
7 Duke (6-1)4467
8 Michigan (7-0)4058
9 Loyola (4-0)3969
10 Princeton (3-0)37510
11 Denver (6-0)37012
12 Florida (1-3)34511
13 Rutgers (6-0)29914
14 Virginia (3-4)25113
15 Notre Dame (2-4)24516
16 Johns Hopkins (4-1)21420
17 USC (3-0)17719
18 Temple (5-1)17418
19 Vanderbilt (3-2)16616
20 Jacksonville (3-2)13622
21 James Madison (3-2)12921
22 Richmond (5-0)12723
23 Colorado (5-0)112NR
24 Drexel (3-2)7515
25 Navy (5-1)38NR

Receiving Votes: UConn, Penn, Stanford, Yale, Harvard

USA Lacrosse Magazine Poll

RankingInstitutionRecord
1Boston College6-0
2North Carolina6-0
3Maryland5-0
4Northwestern4-2
5Syracuse5-1
6Stony Brook2-1
7Duke6-1
8Michigan7-0
9Loyola4-0
10Princeton3-0
11Denver6-0
12Rutgers6-0
13Notre Dame2-4
14Florida1-3
15Virginia3-4
16Richmond5-0
17USC3-0
18Jacksonville3-2
19Colorado5-0
20Johns Hopkins4-1

Also considered (alphabetical order): Drexel (3-2), James Madison (3-2), Navy (5-1), Temple (5-1), UConn (4-1), Vanderbilt (3-2)

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February 11th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Friday Olympic results for three more Buffs

From CUBuffs.com … Three former Buffs were in competition Friday in Beijing at the XIV Winter Olympic Games and all had impressive showings. Taylor Gold competed in the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe Final, Alvar Alev raced in the Men’s 15km Classic in Cross Country Skiing and Joanne Reid was on display in the Women’s 7.5km Sprint in Biathlon.

Gold threw down his best run on his first attempt in the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe Final, boasting a score of 81.75, which ended up being his final score as he finished in fifth place. His score of 81.75 was the best among the competitors after the first round, however, on his two ensuing runs, Gold recorded scores of 25 and 20 after slipping on a pair of landings.

The Steamboat Springs, Colo. local is in his second Olympic Games representing Team USA. In his first Olympic outing in 2014 in Sochi, Gold failed to qualify for the Men’s Halfpipe Final, finishing in 14th in qualifying. His sister, Arielle Gold, is also a two-time Olympian and former CU student and won the bronze medal in 2018 in the Snowboard Halfpipe, the same discipline Taylor competed in.

With his solid fifth place finish in the Men’s Halfpipe Final, Gold has concluded his time at the XIV Winter Games and will not compete in any more events.

Alev was the second former Buff to compete as he represented Estonia in the Men’s 15km Classic in Cross Country Skiing. The 28-year-old finished in 35th place with a time of 41:12.5 and was the top Estonian finisher in the race. Alev got off to a hot start and was 17th at the 3 km mark at 8:34.4 before faltering down to 35th by the end of the race.

The 35th place finish is the highest for Alev in Olympic or World Cup competition. Competing in his first Olympic Games, Alev has finished as high as 41st in the 15 km Classic in World Cup racing when he did so on Dec. 12, 2021 in Davos, Switzerland.

The Estonian skied for Colorado from 2018-19 and was a three-time All-American, including two first-team honors, and was named All-RMISA twice, as well. He won three races in his two years. He placed second in the freestyle race at the 2018 NCAA Championships and fourth in the classic at the 2019 NCAA Championships.

Alev is next expected to compete in the Men’s 4x10k Relay event in Cross Country Skiing on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m. local China time which is 12 a.m. MT. on Sunday Feb. 13 in Boulder.

The final Buff to compete Friday in Beijing was Joanne Reid. Competing in her second event at the XIV Winter Olympic Games for Team USA, Reid took part in the Women’s 7.5 km Sprint in Biathlon Friday and finished in 34th place in a field of 89 with a time of 22:54.9. Reid nailed all five of her shots at the first shooting portion of the race and jumped all the way into the top 30. Going into the second shooting spot, Reid was in 27th, but two misses caused her to conduct two 150m penalty laps, and she dropped to 38th coming out of the shots before moving back up to 34th where she finished.

The 29-year-old competed in this event at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, finishing in 86th.

Reid skied for the Buffs from 2010-13 and earned seven All-America honors and four All-RMISA accolades. She was an Individual NCAA Champion in 2013 in the freestyle discipline and helped the Buffs to two team NCAA Championships in her four years at CU. After completing her master’s degree at CU, she turned her attention to Biathlon and has competed in the Biathlon World Cup since 2015.

Reid will next race in the Women’s 10K Pursuit on Sunday Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. local China time (2 a.m. MT. on Sunday Feb. 13), where she will be in bib 34 for Team USA.

Petra Hyncicova will compete for the Czech Republic and Weronika Kaleta will represent Poland in the Women’s 4x5K Relay in Cross Country Skiing on Saturday, Feb 12 at 3:30 p.m. Beijing time (12:30 a.m. MT. on Saturday Feb. 12).  Kaleta will be the third leg off the Poland team in bib 12-3 and Hyncicova will be the fourth and final leg for the Czech Republic team wearing bib 8-4.

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February 10th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Three more Buffs see action in Winter Olympics 

From CUBuffs.com … On Wednesday morning in Beijing former Buff, Taylor Gold, and current Buff, Stacy Gaskill, kicked off their Olympic Games in Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe and Women’s Snowboard Cross, respectively. CU Freshman Magdalena Luczak also took part in her second event at Beijing 2022 in Women’s Slalom here at the XIV Winter Games.

Gold has successfully qualified for the Olympic Men’s Halfpipe Finals, after finishing only 2 spots short in the 2014 qualifiers. His first score of 81.25 was the fourth best amongst the field for run 1. On his second run he scored an 83.50, which was the sixth best score in the field. Gold will begin the Finals in 7th place, with a total qualifying score of 83.50.

Gaskill impressively advanced all the way to the semifinal round in the Women’s Snowboard Cross. Her seeding run earned her a top 4 spot in the finals bracket with a time of 1:23.14. In the 1/8 Final she placed first in her heat. Then in the Quarterfinal she placed second, advancing her to the Semifinals. She finished the Semifinal race fourth in her heat, meaning she would not go on to the Finals.  She then finished second in the Small Final. As the only non-medal winner in her semifinal, overall it was a very impressive Olympic debut for Stacy Gaskill.

Luczak unfortunately did not finish her first run of the Woman’s Slalom.

Gold is making his second Olympic appearance for Team USA, the first coming in 2014.  His sister, Arielle Gold, is also a two-time Olympian, former CU student, and won the bronze medal in 2018 for the Snowboard Halfpipe, the same discipline Taylor competes in. Gold finished 14th in Snowboard Half Pipe in 2014 at the Olympics and he has been competing internationally since 2011.

Gaskill is a current CU Student and has been competing in Snowboard Cross since she was 8 years old. She finished 11th in last season’s Snowboard Cross World Cup and 6th in the Snowboard Cross World Championships last February. She is also a member of the U.S. National Ultimate Frisbee team.

A native of Lodz, Poland, Luczak is a freshman at CU in the Leeds School of Business.  She has spent most of this ski season in Europe competing on the World Cup and Europa Cup circuits.  She finished 20th in the World Cup GS race in Courchevel in December and at the 2021 World Championships last spring, she finished 19th in the GS race.

Gold advances to the Halfpipe Finals on Friday and Gaskill is slated to compete in the Mixed Team Cross Saturday.

The next #OlympicBuffs to compete in Beijing will be Petra Hyncicova Thursday in the Women’s 10K Classic race.  Action will begin at 3 p.m. Beijing time, which is midnight Wednesday night/Thursday morning Mountain Time.

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February 6th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Alvar Alev makes his Olympic debut in 15K Skiathon

From CUBuffs.com … Alvar Alev has officially competed in the Olympics.  The former Colorado Buffaloes Ski Team member finished an impressive 33rd place finish in the men’s 15K/15K Skiathlon here Sunday at the XIV Winter Olympic Games.

Alev started in 56th place and finished 33rd, moving up some 23 spots.  After things settled out of the gates, he had his strongest push early in the race, moving up to 51st by the first intermediate time check at 1.3K, then the next 2.5K he really made his move, going into 40th at the 2.5K mark and then into 33rd at the 3.8K mark.  At that point, he was essentially in the lead pack just 7.5 seconds behind the race leader.  He moved down to 41st at the 5.1K mark and then back to 36th by the 6.3K mark.  From that point on, he found his rhythm and stayed between 33rd and 37th the rest of the 30K race.

Alev was the top Estonian finisher in the race, and it’s his best finish at the world’s top level.  He skied one skiathlon race last season on the World Cup level, finishing 54th, and also finished 50th in a World Cup skiathlon in 2017.  He finished in the top five in two Estonia National Championship skiathlon races, taking fifth in 2016 and finishing as the runner-up in 2018.

Alev skied for Colorado from 2018-19 and was a three-time All-American, including two first-team honors, and was named All-RMISA twice, as well.  He won three races in his two years.  He placed second in the freestyle race at the 2018 NCAA Championships and fourth in the classic at the 2019 NCAA Championships.

He isn’t expected to compete in the Classic sprint races this week and is next expected to race in the Men’s 15K Classic race on Friday (Feb. 11).

Three Buffs are scheduled to open their Olympic games Monday within alpine and biathlon action.  The women’s GS race will feature CU freshman Magdalena Luczak and Cass Gray, who was a freshman last season and took this season off to make her Olympic push.  In biathlon, former Buff Joanne Reid will open her second Olympic games in the women’s 15K individual race.

With Sunday’s men’s Downhill postponed until Monday, that will affect the starting times a bit for the women’s GS, which is now slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. Beijing time, which is Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. MT.  The second run of women’s GS will start at 2:30 p.m. Beijing time/11:30 p.m. MT on Sunday night.  The Biathlon will begin at 5 p.m. Beijing Time Monday which is 2 a.m. early Monday morning MT.

In the women’s GS, Luczak will be starting in bib 39 and Gray in bib 46. Reid will wear bib 83 and in the interval start race is scheduled to start her race at 2:41:30 a.m. MT.

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February 5th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Petra Hyncicova the first Buff to compete in the Beijing Olympics

From CUBuffs.com … Petra Hyncicova was the first CU athlete to compete in Beijing for the XIV Winter Olympic Games, taking part in the women’s 7.5k/7.5k skiathlon just hours after the Opening Ceremonies took place.

Hyncicova finished 26th in the race after having a starting bib of 49, essentially moving up 23 spots in an impressive showing.  Skiathlon is essentially two races back to back, a 15K race the first half, or 7.5K of which is in the classical discipline and the second half of which is the freestyle discipline.

Hyncicova started strong, immediately moving up to 39th place by the first split at the 1.3K mark.  She was especially impressive the between the 2.5K and 3.8K of each loop, twice having the 18th fastest mark in that sector.  She had moved has high as 22nd place at one point in the Classical portion of the race and at the split between classical and freestyle, she was in 27th.   She essentially held that position the second half of the race.

Hyncicova’s 26th place finish is 21 spots better than she finished in 2018, taking 47th in the Skiathlon in PeyongChange.  Those are the only two world-level finishes in Skiathlon for Hyncicova.  She took 22nd in the U23 World Championships in 2017, and 25th in the World Junior Championships in 2014.

Hyncicova skied for Colorado from 2015-18, sweeping the two individual NCAA Championship races in 2017 and picking up seven All-America honors out of a possible eight such honors.

Hyncicova is next expected to participate in the classic sprint races on Tuesday, Feb. 8.  Those races will take place 4-8 p.m. locally in China and in the early AM hours of Feb. 8, 1-4 a.m. MT.

The next CU skier participating in Bejing is Alvar Alev, who will participate in the men’s 15k/15k skiathlon Sunday.  His race begins at 3 p.m. in China, or midnight tonight mountain time.

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January 27th 

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU will have seven present and former Buffs competing in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

From CUBuffs.com … Seven athletes connected with the University of Colorado Boulder, including six that are or were members of the Colorado Buffaloes Ski Team, will head to Beijing to represent five countries in the XXIV Olympic Winter Games from February 4-20, 2022.

Current Buffs Weonika Kaleta (Poland, Cross Country Skiing) and Magdalena Luczak (Poland, Alpine Skiing), along with Cass Gray (Canada, Alpine Skiing), who is taking a year off from CU to make her Olympic push, represent the ninth, 10th and 11th skiers in CU history to go to the Olympics as active members of the CU ski team or taking that season off to compete in the Olympics before returning to CU.

Another one of those 11 is Petra Hyncicova, who is returning to the Olympics in 2022 after representing the Czech Republic in Cross Country Skiing in 2018 in Beijing, her senior season at CU.  Hyncicova is one of three former Buffs competing in their second Winter Olympics along with Joanne Reid (USA, Biathlon), who also competed in 2018 in PeyongChang, and Taylor Gold (USA, Snowboard Half Pipe), a non-varsity athlete that also competed in 2014 in Sochi.

Joining the list of first-time Olympic Buffs alongside Gray, Kaleta and Luczak is Alvar Alev, who will compete in Cross Country Skiing for Estonia.

With six of the seven having competed for the CU Ski Team, that brings the number of Olympians for the program to 36 athletes that have competed in 49 Olympic games.  Overall, CU Boulder now has 109 Olympic athletes making 162 appearances overall and 63 Olympic athletes making 96 appearances in the Winter Olympics.

Brief Bios

Alvar Alev is making his first Olympic appearance for Estonia and will compete in Cross Country Skiing in Beijing.  A native of Parnu, Estonia, he graduated from CU with a degree in Ethnic Studies.  He skied for the Buffs for two seasons in 2018-19 and was a three-time All-American and two-time All-RMISA selection and won the team’s Lucie Hanusova Award his first season.  He was a finalist for CU Male Career Athletic Achievement for the 2019 CUSPYs despite only competing for two seasons with the Buffs.

Taylor Gold is making his second Olympic appearance for Team USA, the first coming in 2014.  His sister, Arielle Gold, is also a two-time Olympian, former CU student and won the bronze medal in 2018 in the Snowboard Halfpipe, the same discipline Taylor will be competing in in Beijing.  Gold finished 14th in Snowboard Half Pipe in 2014 at the Olympics and he has been competing internationally since 2011.

Cass Gray is making her first Olympic appearance for Canada and will compete in Alpine Skiing in Beijing.  A native of Panorama, British Columbia, she is studying Integrative Physiology at Colorado. She is taking the season off for her Olympic push.  A freshman on last year’s team, she split her time between Team Canada and the Buffs, but nonetheless made a big impact winning the Individual National Championship and picking up first-team All-America honors in the process.  She was named the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame Collegiate Skier of the Year and won CU’s CUSPY for Female Freshman of the Year.

Petra Hyncicova is making her second Olympic appearance for the Czech Republic in Cross Country Skiing in Beijing.  A native of Liberec, Czech Republic, she graduated from CU with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Integrative Physiology.  She skied for the Buffs form 2015-18 and won two Individual National Championships, sweeping the races at the 2017 NCAA Championships.  A seven-time All-American, she won seven races at CU, was named the 2017 RMISA Skier of the Year and won CUSPY’s both for Female Athlete of the Year and Female Career Athletic Achievement.  Her 2018 Olympic appearance came her senior season at CU.  Since leaving CU, she has made more than 50 starts on the World Cup and competed in two other World Championship events.

Weronika Kaleta will make her first Olympic appearance for Poland in Cross Country Skiing in Beijing.  A native of Kasina Weilka, Poland, she is earning degrees in both Mathematics and Psychology at Colorado.  She is in her sophomore season with the Buffs and as a freshman, she earned All-America honors and won CU’s Outstanding Nordic Woman award.  This season she has competed in four races for the Buffs before heading to the Olympics with two top five finishes and one podium appearance.   Between semesters, she was in Europe competing on the World Cup qualifying for the Olympics.

Magdalena Luczak will make her first Olympic appearance for Poland in Alpine Skiing in Beijing.  A native of Lodz, Poland, she is a freshman at CU in the Leeds School of Business.  She has spent a majority of this ski season in Europe competing on the World Cup and Europa Cup circuits.  She finished 20th in the World Cup GS race in Courchevel in December and at the 2021 World Championships last spring, she finished 19th in the GS race.

Joanne Reid will make her second Olympic appearance for the United States in Biathlon in Beijing.  Born in Madison, Wis., she grew up in Palo Alto, Calif., and now resides in Grand Junction, Colo., and she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Engineering – Technology, Media and Society at Colorado.  She skied for the Buffs from 2010-13 and earned seven All-America honors and four all-RMISA accolades.  She was an Individual NCAA Champion in 2013 in the freestyle discipline and helped the Buffs to two team NCAA Championships in her four years.  After getting her Master’s at CU, she turned her attention to Biathlon and has competed on the Biathlon World Cup since 2015.  She and Team USA are coming into the Olympics strong, fresh off a fifth place finish on the World Cup in the women’s relay, one of the first top five finishes for Team USA in a World Level competition in a long time.

Olympic Schedule … 

  • Opening Ceremonies – Feb. 4
  • Alpine Skiing – Feb. 6-11, 13, 15-17, 19
  • Nordic Skiing – Feb. 5-6, 8, 10-13, 16, 19-20
  • Biathlon – Feb. 5, 7-8, 11-13, 15-16, 18-19
  • Snowboard – Feb. 5-12, 14-15
  • Closing Ceremonies – Feb. 20

CU Winter Olympic Notes … 

  • The addition of Alev, Gray, Kaleta and Luczak all competing in their first Olympics brings CU Olympics count to:
    • 36 Winter Olympians that were members of the CU Ski Team
    • 63 Winter Olympians by current CU students or alumni
    • 109 Olympians by current CU students or alumni
  • With Gold, Hyncicova and Reid all competing in their second Olympics, along with the four above, that brings CU Olympics count to:
    • 49 Olympic appearances by members of the CU Ski Team
    • 12 members of the CU Ski Team with multiple Olympic appearances
    • 96 Winter Olympic appearances by current CU students or alumni
    • 25 current CU students or alumni who have made multiple Olympic appearances
    • 162 Olympic appearances by current CU students or alumni
  • The Beijing 2022 Olympics will be just the second time three “current” Buffs will go to the Winter Olympics since 1964 when Bill Marolt and Jimmie Heuga for alpine and Mike Gallagher for Nordic all competed.  All three took the 1964 season off, but competed for the Buffs in both 1963 and ’65.
  • Other active members of the CU Ski Team to compete in the Olympics alongside Gray, Kaleta, Luczak from 2022 and Gallagher, Heuga and Marolt from 1964 were John Dendahl, Nordic skiing in 1960, Ron Yeager, Nordic skiing in 1972, Ondrej Valenta, Nordic skiing in 1998 and Tahir Bisic, alpine skiing in 2002.
  • CU has had current student or alumni representation at every Winter Olympics since 1988, or 10 straight Winter Games, and dating back to 1960, representation in 16 of the past 17 Winter Olympics.
  • Gray (Canada), Kaleta and Luczak (Poland), and Alev (Estonia) are the first current or former Buffs to represent their countries at the Olympics, brining the CU total to 22 countries represented by Olympians.
  • Gold and Reid will bring the total to 128 Olympic appearances for the Buffs for Team USA.
  • Hyncicova representing the Czech Republic will bring the total to seven Olympic appearances for Buffs, the second most behind Team USA. ti

—–

October 29th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU cross-country teams sweep Pac-12 championships; eye run at national titles

From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado cross country teams swept the men’s and women’s team titles on Friday at the Regional Athletic Complete in Salt Lake City at the 2021 Pac-12 Conference Championships, recording the fourth sweep for the Buffs since joining the league in 2011.

This is the eighth Pac-12 team title for the men. They previously won six straight titles (2011-2016) and then the 2019 championship. The women have now won five championships in the Pac-12. Before today, they won titles in 2011 and then three straight from 2015-17.

In total, CU’s men have now won 30 overall conference cross country championships and the women have captured 20. Of those 50, 30 have been under head coach Mark Wetmore. His men won 12 titles in the Big 12, while the women won 11 before joining the Pac-12. This is also the 15th time Wetmore has led his teams to a conference sweep.

Not to be outdone, Abby Nichols took home the individual crown in the women’s race, becoming the second CU female to win a Pac-12 cross country title. Dani Jones is the only other female to win an individual Pac-12 title and did it twice (2017 and 18).

RESULTS
2021 PAC-12 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Regional Athletic Complex (Salt Lake City Utah)

Men’s 8k Team Results:
1. Colorado 39; 2. Stanford 52; 3. Washington 68; 4. Oregon 72; 5. Washington State 146; 6. UCLA 190; 7. Arizona State 205 205; 8. California 208; DNF. Arizona.

Men’s 8k Individual Results (top 10)
1. Charles Hicks, SU, 23:34.9; 2. Cooper Teare, OU, 23:44.1; 3. Eduardo Herrera, CU, 23.45.7; 4. Ky Robinson, SU, 23:47.4; 5. Aaron Bienefeld, UO, 23:49.3; 6. Austin Vancil, CU, 23:52.9; 7. Andrew Kent, CU, 23:54.1; 8. Cole Sprout, SU, 23:57.9; 9. Brian Fay, UW, 24:00.7; 10. Kieran Lumb, UW, 24:09.8.

Other CU Finishers:
11. Charlie Sweeney, 24:11.9; 12. Brendan Fraser, 24:12.6; 13. Stephen Jones, 24:13.8; 17. Alec Hornecker, 24:22.1; 21. Ethan Powell, 24:41.1; 23. Noah Hibbard, 24:47.3; 29. Paxton Smith, 25:03.3.

Women’s 6k Team Results:
1. Colorado 24; 2. Utah 52; 3. Oregon 92; 4. Washington 107; 5. Stanford 120; 6. Oregon State 156; 7. Washington State 179; 8. UCLA 230; 9. California 265; 10. Arizona State 299; 11. USC 332; 12. Arizona 343.

Women’s 6k Individual Results (top 10):
1. Abby Nichols, CU, 20:25.4; 2. Emily Covert, CU, 20:36.7; 3. Emily Venters, UU, 20:40.7; 4. India Johnson, CU, 20:49.5; 5. Rachel McArthur, CU, 20:50.9; 6. Kaylee Mitchell, OSU, 20:51.7; 7. Cara Woolnough, UU, 20:55.0; 8. Haley Herberg, UW, 21:00.00; 10. Zofia Dudek, SU, 21:03.7.

Other CU Finishers:
11. Hannah Miniutti, 21:04.9; 17. Madie Boreman, 21:17.9; 18. Elizabeth Constien, 21:19.2; 24. Micaela DeGenero, 21:31.6; 28. Annie Hill; 21:40.0; 54. Kaitlyn Barthell 22:28.7.

 

—–

August 19th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CSU soccer team uses legal loophole to keep whitewash by CU from the record books

From the Daily Camera … During his turn at the podium at Colorado’s fall sports media day last week, women’s soccer coach Danny Sanchez offered the belief his Buffaloes will feature a more versatile scoring punch than the team that completed its delayed 2020 season less than four months ago.

The Buffs made their coach look somewhat prophetic by netting three goals by three different players within the first 28 minutes of the 2021 opener against Colorado State Thursday afternoon at Prentup Field.

Unfortunately for CU, however, history will say that season-opening offensive explosion never happened.

In a wild and contentious turn of events, the first women’s soccer state rivalry battle between the Buffs and CSU since 2018 was declared a no contest after the Rams, playing their first game under new coach Keeley Hagen, declined to return to the Prentup Field turf to resume the game after a weather/lightning delay that ultimately lasted 2 hours, 9 minutes.

While there were early indications the game would be re-played from scratch on Friday morning, BuffZone learned later Thursday night there will be no do-over on Friday and, per sources at CU, the Rams do not intend to reschedule the match at all.

About halfway through that two hour-plus delay, the teams were on the field and just seconds away from resuming the match early in the 51st minute when another lightning strike occurred within a 10-mile radius, necessitating a further delay.

Per NCAA rules, a soccer game is not considered official until at least 70 minutes are in the books. With no lights available at Prentup, officials were ready to resume play at 7:22 p.m. ahead of the mounting darkness. Sources told BuffZone that CSU wanted a full 30 minutes of warm-up time, but the Rams were told they could return to the field at 7:05, equating to a 17-minute warmup.

Instead, while the Buffs and the game officials were getting prepped to resume the action and get the required 20 minutes played in order to make the match official, the Rams remained on their bus in the Prentup parking lot. Because the contest was officially suspended due to weather, the Rams, citing rule 7.6.3 in the NCAA rule book, found a legal loophole to avoid defeat.

Continue reading story here

—–

August 16th 

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Sage Hurta second Buff ever to be named Pac-12 Woman of the Year

Press Release from CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado track and field alum Sage Hurta was named the 2021 Pac-12 Woman of the Year after receiving the conference’s NCAA Woman of the Year nomination Monday morning.

Hurta becomes the Pac-12’s candidate for the NCAA Woman of the Year, presented annually to a graduating student-athlete who has distinguished herself throughout her collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership. Hurta is just the second CU woman to earn the honor, joining Kaitlyn Benner in 2019.

The award, which is in its 31st year, honors the academic achievements, athletic excellence, community service and leadership of outstanding female college athletes. In total, 535 student-athletes were nominated across the three NCAA Divisions and 24 sports with an average GPA of 3.7. The list has been cut down to 153 women across the three NCAA Divisions, including 57 from NCAA Division I.

Hurta left a mark on the Buffs program with an individual national title (2021 Mile), relay national title (2017 DMR) and team NCAA Championships. She joins Dani Jones as the only CU athletes to do so. Hurta was also a seven-time All-American, including becoming only the second women’s four-time cross country All-American at CU.

On top of her achievements on the track and cross country course, Hurta is a three-time Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-American, earning a second-team honor in 2019 and a first team honor in 2020 and 2021. She was named the 2019 Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year and only missed earning an A in a class once while earning a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering. She became the seventh Buff to earn a third Academic All-America honor in school history.

Hurta was also named the 2019 Colorado Sportswoman of the Year in cross country. Outside of athletics, Hurta assisted the community while working with Read with the Buffs, Holiday Angel Tree, Girls on the Run and Elementary Exercise Outreach.

The Woman of the Year Selection Committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will now choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division — from the conference-level nominees. The Top 30 honorees will be announced in September. The selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division from the Top 30, and the nine finalists will be announced this fall. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year.

—–

August 9th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Pac-12 athletes brings home 60 Olympic medals (would have been the fifth-best “country”)

From the Pac-12 … Pac-12-affiliated athletes took home 108 individual medals at the recently-concluded 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the most among all conferences.

Ninety-one past, present and future students and current coaches combined to earn those 108 medals, which included 35 golds. Pac-12 medals came in 18 different sports and the Conference’s podium finishers represented 12 different National Olympic Committees – Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Denmark, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Spain and the United States.

Counting medals won as part of the same relay, boat or team as one collective medal, athletes with Pac-12 ties helped their National Olympic Committees earn 60 medals at the 2020 Games. If the Conference was a country, it would have finished fifth in the overall medal count behind the United States (113), China (88), Russian Olympic Committee (71) and Great Britain (65). Of those 60 collective medals, 17 were gold, which would have tied Australia for sixth among all National Olympic Committees.

The Pac-12 sent 325 total Olympic athletes to Tokyo, which included competitors from every Pac-12 institution. The Conference had an Olympian on 57 of the 206 National Olympic Committees that had athletes entered in the Games (27.7 percent). When including alternate athletes and coaching staffs, the size of the Pac-12 delegation grew to 372.

Pac-12-affiliated athletes on Team USA contributed to 36 of the United States’ 113 medals in Tokyo (31.9 percent), either as individual medalists or members of medal-winning teams or relays. One quarter of U.S. medalists at the Games were from the Pac-12 (65 of 257).

Of the 626 total athletes on the U.S. Olympic Team at the Games, 131 were past, present or future students or current coaches at Pac-12 institutions (20.9 percent). The Conference’s representation on Team USA led all leagues.

Pac-12 Olympic medalists came from each of the league’s 12 schools. STANFORD led the way among all U.S. universities with 26 total individual medals, including 10 gold, seven silver and nine bronze. USC was second in the overall medal count with 21 medals, and topped all U.S. universities with 11 golds. CALIFORNIA athletes took home 16 total individuals medals, UCLA 14, WASHINGTON eight and OREGON five. ARIZONA STATE, ARIZONA and UTAH each had four, WASHINGTON STATE three, COLORADO two and OREGON STATE one.

—–

August 4th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Emma Coburn falls in steeplechase final; Val Constien finishes 12th 

From CUBuffs.com … On a warm, muggy night in Tokyo, Colorado track and field alumni Val Constien and Emma Coburn finished the 2020 Olympic women’s steeplechase final, finishing 12th and 14th respectfully.

Both former Buffs held tight to the lead in the first half of the race before things got stretched out. Coburn held onto the back of the chase pack at the bell lap but suffered a fall over a barrier and dropped down to 14th by the end of things in 9:41.50. Constien finished just ahead of her in 12th in 9:31.61 while their Team USA teammate Courtney Frerichs took home the silver medal in 9:04.79.

Constien went straight to third at the start of the race while Coburn came up on her outside as the US women took up half of the top six spots. Into the first water jump, the three US women went Frerichs, Coburn, Constien in third through sixth.

Frerichs took the lead with four laps to go as Coburn sat in sixth and Constien in 10th. Frerichs stretched it out with three laps to go as she and Uganda’s Peruth Chemutai had a 10 meter lead with 800 meters remaining. Coburn sat in sixth 20-meters behind the two leaders. Frerichs took the bell lap with a 10 meter lead but quickly lost it as Chemutai passed on the back stretch as Coburn took a fall over a barrier in the final lap to lose many positions.

Chemutai of Uganda took the gold in a national record of 9:01.45, followed by Frerichs and Hyvin Kiyeng of Kenya for bronze. This is the first time in the history of the women’s Olympic steeplechase that a Buff hasn’t finished as the top USA woman representative. The Buffs have had six Olympic appearances in the event, making up nearly half of the USA women to ever run the event with four of the nine women to represent USA.

—–

August 2nd

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Four of the nine women who have represented the US in steeplechase have come from CU

From the Pac-12 Sunday morning at Olympic Stadium, the most famous female steeplechase runner in America, Emma Coburn, qualified for her third Olympic final. So did her fellow Buff, Val Constien. Two of the three women comprising the U.S. squad in Tokyo are COLORADO alumnae.

“We’ve never stopped having good ones,” said Mark Wetmore, Colorado’s head track coach since 1995. Before Emma, there was Jenny Simpson (2008 Beijing). And before Val, there was Shalaya Kipp (2012 London).

How is it possible that four of the nine women who have represented the U.S. in Olympic steeplechase have been Colorado grads?

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe they learn from each other,” Wetmore said.

In truth, the Colorado team barely trains for the event.  “Maybe once a week, in the spring months,” Wetmore said.

The world-record holder trains it even less.

Beatrice Chepkoech, 30, set the mark three years ago in Monaco (running 8:44.32) and has considered herself to be a steeplechaser half her life yet the Kenyan told the Pac-12 on Sunday, “I don’t train the jumps. Only when I come to competition.”

Clearly, the steeplechase is quirky, but it is also tremendously difficult. It is a 3000-meter (1.86-mile) running race with 35 interruptions – 28 to get over heavy, 30-inch barriers, and seven to clear the water jumps whose landing pits are 12 feet long and more than two-feet deep at most.

During the rare steeplechase practice at Colorado, Wetmore said athletes might be working on the dry barriers or the water jump.

“The dry barriers are hundreds of pounds and not easily moved,” he said, “and the water jump is firmly fixed into the ground and not at all movable. So the first thing you want is: not to hit it.”

The clearance method isn’t standard and it isn’t always stylish.

“You’re right,” Wetmore said. “People have all different techniques and some are less elegant than others. My advice is: trust what you’re comfortable with and stay with it” – at least for the dry jump.

The water jump, he said, “is complicated – particularly for women because they’re generally shorter have a little bit less ballistic power than men. Everyone lands in the water, it’s just a matter of whether you land in four inches of it or whether you land in a foot-and-a-half. If you land in four inches, then you’re out in a half a step. If you land deep, you’re sloshing and losing time.”

Despite the event’s anything-goes quality, sometimes the coach just has to shake his head. “Every once in a while, we’ll have a one-hour steeple try-out clinic among people on the team and there’ll be somebody who’s disqualified in 30 seconds, for sure,” Wetmore said. “They’re so bad at it that they threaten the health of the people surrounding them and we have to say, ‘Okay, thanks. See ya tomorrow.’”

Truthfully, Wetmore said, “Technical violations in the steeplechase are nearly impossible,” other than missing the water jump. Runners skip the water jump on the first lap, but have to clear it on every subsequent lap. Wetmore has seen people forget it the second time.

“Steeplechasers come in all shapes, sizes, and talent packages,” Wetmore added. None of his Olympic steeplechasers were specialists.

“Emma Coburn was an indoor mile champion,” he said. “Jenny [Simpson] set the collegiate record – which still stands – in the 1,500. None of them trained for steeplechase exclusively.”

A good steeplechaser takes “athleticism, fitness, and a little bit of fearlessness,” Coburn said in New York in 2013, before becoming the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, 2017 world champion, and 2019 world silver medalist.

“I’ve had to change trajectory in the air because women in front of me have fallen,” she said. “It can’t faze you.”

Wetmore agrees. “The steeplechase is an eventful event,” he said, and because Coburn has made it her professional specialty now, “she’s encountered everything that could happen in the steeplechase, so she’s not surprised, is efficient, and gets the job done.”

As for Constien, 25, who still works out at Colorado, Wetmore said, “She was a good runner for us but not a national titlist. The last two years have been very methodical for her. She works a full-time job and just ran 9:18 [in Eugene, Oregon, on June 24], the sixth fastest American woman ever. It’s a testimony to her work ethic.”

And maybe one more thing.

After fulfilling her goal on Sunday by making the 15-woman final scheduled for Wednesday, Constien said, “Coach Wetmore always says, ‘stay calm, stay calm, stay calm,’ and even though he’s not here, I hear that in the back of my head.”

—–

July 31st

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Former Buff Morgan Pearson wins silver medal in first-ever mixed triathlon

Update … On Saturday night, both Emma Coburn and Valerie Constein qualified for the finals in the steeplechase. The finals are set for Wednesday … 

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado track and field alum Morgan Pearson anchored Team USA to an Olympic Silver Medal Friday afternoon here in the first-ever mixed triathlon relay.

The team of Katie Zaferes, Kevin McDowell, Taylor Knibb and Pearson crossed the line second behind the quartet of Great Britain in 1:23:55, 14 seconds back and nine seconds ahead of the previous World Champion team in France. Pearson anchored the team to second after passing France in the final run leg. The sprint relay consisted of a 300-meter swim, 6.8 kilometer draft-legal bike ride and a 2-kilometer run for each individual.

Zaferes started things off for USA and got the team into the original lead pack of four. McDowell had moments of leading but was 20 seconds behind Britain when he ‘handed off’ to Taylor Knibb where the race really started to heat up.

Knibb chased individual silver medalist Georgia Taylor-Brown who would be handing off to men’s silver medalist Alex Yee. Despite her best efforts, Knibb handed off with the same 21 second gap that she started with.

Pearson went to the water where he was caught by Vincent Luis in the transition. Still the duo was able to cut four second off the G.B. lead. Pearson tucked in behind and began to draft off Luis. Luis took the lead on the bike after the first of two laps as Pearson kept cutting down the gap between third and the front two, just four seconds back at the halfway mark.

Pearson shortened the gap in the bike alone without the ability to draft. He came out of transition nine seconds back when Yee leading Luis by three seconds. The 2k run lent to Pearson’s talent as he caught France quickly. It was too little, too late though as Pearson cut the gap to 11 seconds after the first lap of the run and finished 14 seconds back for his first Olympic medal.

Pearson’s medal is the 20th for a CU alum since the 1948 summer Olympics, joining Flora Duffy who won the women’s triathlon gold medal during these games as she represented Bermuda.

 

—–

July 27th 

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU grad Flora Duffy wins the women’s triathlon (for Bermuda) 

From the Daily Camera … Bermuda has been sending athletes to the Olympics since 1936. Until Tuesday, the Atlantic island’s highest honor was a bronze medal won 45 years ago.

Flora Duffy, who graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder, changed that in just under two hours, swimming, cycling and running through the wind and rain around Tokyo Bay to win the Olympic women’s triathlon for Bermuda’s first gold medal.

A self-governing British overseas territory with a population under 65,000, Bermuda has only two athletes competing in Tokyo: Duffy and men’s rower Dara Alizadeh. It is the smallest contingent Bermuda has ever sent to the Summer Games.

Bermuda hadn’t medaled at the Olympics since Clarence Hill’s bronze in heavyweight boxing in Montreal in 1976.

“I think (the medal) is bigger than me. It’s going to inspire the youth of Bermuda and everyone back home that competing on the world stage from a small island is really possible,” said Duffy, a Bermuda native who grew up there.

Duffy, 33, had never finished higher than eighth in her previous three Olympic tries. But the two-time former world triathlon series champion was one of the favorites for gold and was among the leaders Tuesday for the entire race. She closed out the victory with a dominant final leg to finish in 1 hour, 55:36 minutes.

—-

July 25th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Morgan Pearson finishes 42nd in Olympic triathlon

From CUBuffs.com Colorado track and field alum Morgan Pearson competed in his first Olympic triathlon Sunday afternoon, finishing 42nd overall for Team USA.

Pearson and the rest of the field has a bizarre start after there was a boat in the starting area and a false start caused half the field to enter the water. Once everyone was brought back, the race finally began. Two laps around the Marine Park, Pearson went through the first lap in 30th and made it up to 25th finishing the 1.5 kilometer swim in 18 minutes and two seconds.

Trouble struck Pearson in the first transition when he failed to get his swim goggles into the box, resulting in a 15-second penalty that would be assessed in the second transition. From the swim onto the bike, Pearson left the transition area in 20th place.

Through the first of eight laps on the bike, Pearson was in the chase pack in 24th, but fell to the back of that pack in the first 10 kilometers at 33rd. He lost contact with the pack throughout the race, dropping to 37th through 15 kilometers, 29 seconds off the lead. Halfway through the 40-kilometer bike race, Pearson was in 42nd overall, 46 minutes and 52 seconds into the race. He finished the bike race in 46th in one hour, 17 minutes and 33 seconds. The leader came through in one hour, 14 minutes and 45 seconds.

Heading into the run, fellow American Kevin McDowell gave the US men hope as they had never medaled at the Olympics in the event. He sat in second through the first half of the 10k run crossing in 1:30:05. Pearson crossed the first 5K in 44th at 1:33:37.

Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway took the win over Alex Yee of Great Britain in 1:45:04. Pearson finished 42nd in 1:52:05 while fellow American McDowell finished sixth in 1:45:54. Both US men will compete in the mixed triathlon Friday at 4:30 p.m. MT.

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July 23rd

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

A viewer’s guide to watch former Buffs at the Olympics 

From CUBuffs.com … At 7 a.m. on Friday, July 23, in Colorado, those up and awake watched the long awaited Opening Ceremonies of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo where six University of Colorado alums will be representing Team USA during the next two weeks.

Some 364 days after the originally planned date of the Ceremonies and 486 days since the International Olympic Committee announced the postponement of the 2020 Olympics, Joe KleckerEmma CoburnVal ConstienMorgan PearsonErin Huck and Jake Riley will all meet at the final destination of their Olympic journey. For everyone except Coburn, this will be their first time participating in the Olympics, adding to the rich history of Buffs in the Games.  Coburn is an Olympic “veteran,” as it is her third time participating in the games.

Most of the Olympic events are televised on NBC and can be watched on the NBCSports App or the NBC Olympics channel. Click here for the full NBC schedule.

Four of the Olympians are alumni of the CU track and field program. Klecker will run the men’s 10,000-meters while Coburn and Constien will continue the constant CU representation at the Olympics in the 3,000-meter steeplechase as the Buffs have half of the USA women’s steeplechase participants in the event’s history. Pearson will compete in a 10k of his own after he finishes a swim and bike ride in the men’s triathlon. He will also compete in the mixed triathlon for Team USA.

Running remains the theme for Riley, a Stanford grad and a CU Master’s student, who will race in the marathon, while Huck will compete in the women’s mountain biking competition.

Despite Coburn’s experience, no one on Team USA has experience in the upcoming situation. In the midst of a pandemic, there will be no fans, very limited time around anyone, and near record heat and humidity. Only Pearson has been to Japan since the pandemic began, having finished third at a World Triathlon competition there to seal his spot on Team USA. With nearly 11,000 athletes, including 600 from the U.S., COVID concerns, preparations and testing will be just a factor of what the athletes deal with.

Action begins for the Buffs with Pearson in the men’s triathlon at 3:30 p.m. MT on Sunday, July 25 (6:30 a.m. July 26 in Tokyo). The CU cross country/track graduate has had a major change in training since he last wore the black and gold, picking back up his swimming experience in college and learning to navigate giant packs of cyclists to become one of the best young triathletes in the world. In just four years since he was selected to train with USA Triathlon’s newcomer program, Pearson has risen to become the only USA male to medal at not one, but two World Triathlon Championships Series events. Following making Team USA in Japan, Pearson rode his success into a second-place finish in Britain. Still getting used to the bike, Pearson has continued to get better with every event and should be considered a dark horse to medal at the Olympics.

Women’s mountain biking is next on the schedule for midnight in Colorado on Tuesday, July 27.  Huck, who was a late addition after an athlete dropped out, is a 40-year-old Colorado-native that graduated from Estes Park High School and then got a mechanical engineering degree from CU in 2004. Huck will join former World Champion Kate Courtney and Haley Batten on Team USA after former Olympian Chloe Woodruff withdrew. Coincidentally, Huck beat Woodruff at the first two World Cup stops this season by a combined 63 positions. Huck, the 2016 women’s mountain biking national champion, will make her first appearance as the women battle for a team medal.

After those first two events, CU alums turn to the track where Klecker opens in the men’s 10,000-meter run with his race scheduled for Friday, July 30, at 5:30 a.m. MT (8:30 p.m. Tokyo). Klecker, who is coached by former CU Olympian Dathan Ritzenhein, will be joined by Colorado-native Woody Kincaid and Stanford alum Grant Fisher. Both of the other runners qualified in the men’s 5,000 as well, a race Klecker scratched from to focus his efforts on the 10,000.

Friday, July 30, is the busiest day for CU fans as Pearson competes in the mixed triathlon at 4:30 p.m. MT (Saturday at 7:30 a.m.). He is guaranteed a spot as one of two males for Team USA while the two women positions are yet to be determined.

Next on the track will be Coburn and Constien, both of which are coached by CU alums. Coburn is coached by her husband Joe Bosshard, while Constien is coached by CU coaches Mark Wetmore and Heather Burroughs. The two will compete in the steeplechase prelims at 6:40 p.m. Saturday (9:40 a.m. Tokyo Sunday) with eyes on the finals. Coburn is coming off a very fast Diamond League race in Monaco where she was on pace to break the American Record and possibly the 9-minute mark when she came up short on the water barrier with only a toe instead of the ball of her foot on the barrier causing her to fall. She is one of the favorites to not only repeat as a medalist, but possibly become the first US woman to take home gold in the event.  The final is scheduled for Wednesday, August 4, at 5 a.m. MT (8 p.m. Tokyo time), the final track event for CU Olympians.

Riley will close out the events for CU Olympians with the men’s marathon scheduled for Saturday, August 8, at 4 p.m. MT (Sunday at 7 a.m.).

2020(21) Tokyo Olympics

Local schedule (All times MT)

CU Buffs alumsMen’s triathlon (Morgan Pearson) — Sunday, 3:30 p.m.; Women’s cross country mountain bike (Erin Huck) — Tuesday, 12:01 a.m. Men’s 10,000 meters (Joe Klecker) — July 30, 5:30 a.m.; Women’s 3,000 steeplechase (Emma Coburn, Valerie Constien) — First round July 31, 6:40 p.m.; Final Aug. 4, 5 a.m. Men’s marathon (Jake Riley) — Aug. 8, 4 p.m.

Other local athletes: Women’s discus (Valarie Allman) — First round July 30, 6:30 p.m.; Final Aug. 2, 5 a.m.; Women’s 5,000 meters (Elise Cranny) — First round July 30, 4 a.m.; Final Aug. 2, 6:40 a.m.; Women’s track cycling (Maddie Godby) — Keirin, Aug. 4-5; Match sprints, Aug. 6-8.; Sports climbing (Brooke Raboutou)  — Qualifying, Aug. 4; Finals, Aug. 6.

Read full story here

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July 19th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

10,000-meter Olympian Joe Klecker credits another former Buff for recent success

From the Daily Camera … There is an obvious shared background between Joe Klecker and Dathan Ritzenhein as two of the elite distance runners among the dozens that have passed through the Colorado track and cross country programs.

Beyond that, however, an entire generation spans the distance between their collegiate careers. And until last summer, Klecker and Ritzenhein were only casual acquaintances. Little did they know the heights they would reach together just one year later.

Not long after Ritzenhein, the former CU All-American, bid farewell to his professional racing career, he accepted a coaching position with On Athletics Club. One of his first priorities was to sign Klecker, who will make his Olympics debut in Tokyo in the 10,000 meter run on July 30 after posting a third-place finish last month at the Olympic Trials.

“I think the one thing that has really worked well with Dathan and I, since he ran under Mark (Wetmore) at CU he just knew exactly where I was coming from. He just kind of knew right where to pick up when he started coaching me,” Klecker said. “Obviously it takes a little bit for a coach to get to know you as an athlete, but with the lack of racing the first six months that he was coaching me, we kind of had a good buffer zone to try new things, kind of experiment with training.

“On paper, with all the PRs it looked like it clicked right away. And it did click pretty fast. But those first six months was just kind of learning the new system. If I had been racing those first two or three months, I don’t know how it would’ve worked out. Dathan really gets to know you as a runner and what you do well.”

Continue reading story here

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July 18th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Track and field star Sage Hurta nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado track and field alum Sage Hurta has been named the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year nominee for the University of Colorado.

The award, which is in its 31st year, honors the academic achievements, athletic excellence, community service and leadership of outstanding female college athletes. In total, 535 student-athletes were nominated across the three NCAA Divisions and 24 sports with an average GPA of 3.7.

Hurta left a mark on the Buffs program with an individual national title (2021 Mile), relay national title (2017 DMR) and team NCAA Championships. She joins Dani Jones as the only CU athletes to do so. Hurta was also a seven-time All-American, including becoming only the second women’s four-time cross country All-American at CU.

On top of her achievements on the track and cross country course, Hurta is a two-time Google Cloud CoSIDA Academic All-American, earning a second-team honor in 2019 and a first team honor in 2020. She was named the 2019 Pac-12 Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year and only missed earning an A in a class once while earning a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering. She was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team this week and is in the running to become the seventh Buff to earn a third Academic All-America honor.

Hurta was also named the 2019 Colorado Sportswoman of the Year in cross country. Outside of athletics, Hurta assisted the community while working with Read with the Buffs, Holiday Angel Tree, Girls on the Run and Elementary Exercise Outreach.

Conference offices will select up to two nominees each from their pool of member school nominees. All nominees who compete in a sport not sponsored by their school’s primary conference, as well as associate conference nominees and independent nominees, will be considered by a selection committee. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division.

From the Top 30, the Woman of the Year selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division and announce nine finalists. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year, who will be named this fall.

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July 17th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

An Easy Pick: Ski coach Richard Rokos to the CU Athletics Hall of Fame

From the Daily Camera … When you’re a coach anywhere for an extended time, let alone more than three decades, it’s easy to take for granted some of the little details that often are handled for you.

Richard Rokos can attest to this.

The legendary Colorado ski coach is just a few months into his retirement after leading the Buffs’ nationally-renowned program for 31 years. Certainly there will be more adjustments necessary going forward on Rokos’ part — like when he watches one of his former skiers, new coach Andy Leroy, leading the Buffs for the first time — but Rokos got the first shock of his post-coaching life when his first cell phone bill arrived in the mail.

Since he first joined cell phone nation, that bill was always the university’s problem. Now Rokos is on his own.

“It’s a time of adjustment. And I’m not fully adjusted,” Rokos said. “I wake up in the morning and think about what to do that day, then I realize I don’t have to do anything today.”

It was a classic no-brainer in May when Rokos, just months removed from his final NCAA Championships as the Buffs’ leader, was named to the 2021 Colorado Athletics Hall of Fame class.

Rokos, who spent 34 years total at CU after starting his time in Boulder with a three-year stint as an assistant, is the third longest-tenured head coach in Buffs history, trailing former gymnastics coach Charles Vavra (32 seasons) and former track and cross country coach Frank Potts (41 seasons). Rokos led the Buffs to eight NCAA team championships and six runner-up finishes at the NCAA Championships. His skiers won 46 individual NCAA titles, including three in his final championship this past March, and they collected a whopping 247 All-American honors. Rokos was named the national coach of the year five times.

Continue reading story here

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July 13th 

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU Olympic Legacy (CU’s 90 Olympians ranks 10th among colleges and universities)

From The Coloradan … Boulder has long been a mecca for outdoor adventure, and CU’s strong historic presence at the Olympic Games proves it. Since 1948, the university has produced over 90 Olympic athletes who have competed in events across the globe. In honor of the upcoming Tokyo Games, here’s a look at CU’s storied history of Olympians.

— Over 90 CU Boulder Forever Buffs have attended the Olympics. Among universities and colleges with the most Olympians, CU ranks 10th …

— CU had the most Summer Olympians in its history in 2008 (8), and the most Winter Olympians in 1972 (13) …

— CU Boulder’s first Olympian: Track and field star David Bolen (1948) …

— CU has more affiliated Olympic cyclists (13) and alpine skiers (29) than any other university and ranks second in shooting sports (7) and third in judo (6) …

Buffs have won 20 Olympic medals in total (9 Gold, 4 Silver, 7 Bronze)

— Six Olympic coaches have been affiliated with CU, including women’s basketball coach Ceal Barry, who won a gold medal as an assistant coach for the USA women’s basketball team in Atlanta in 1996 …

Read full story here

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June 25th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Emma Coburn, Val Constein qualify for the Olympics in the steeplechase

From the Daily Camera … Emma Coburn is headed back to the Olympics. This time, she’s taking another former Buffaloes standout with her.

Coburn, the reigning Olympic bronze medalist in the 3,000 meter steeplechase, once again earned a Team USA spot in her signature event on Thursday night, winning the US Olympic Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore. Coburn became the third former Buffs athlete to land a spot on Team USA for next month’s Games in Tokyo, but it only took a few seconds later for a fourth former Buff to join that club, as Val Constien finished third in the steeplechase to earn her first Olympic bid.

It will be the third Olympic Games for Coburn, who finished in 9 minutes, 9.41 seconds, establishing a new Trials record. It is the second time CU will be represented by two athletes in the Olympic steeplechase, as Coburn and Shalaya Kipp took their status as Buffs teammates to the world stage at the 2012 Games in London.

The victory also gave Coburn her seventh consecutive US championship.

Constien, the 2019 Pac-12 steeplechase champion, finished in 9:18.34, topping her previous personal-best (9:25.43) by more than 7 seconds.

It was an impressive night overall for the CU contingent in Oregon, as Sage Hurta and Eduardo Herrera also advanced out of the first round of their respective events.

Continue reading story here

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June 18th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Joe Klecker becomes the second Buff to qualify for the Olympics 

From CUBuffs.com … It didn’t take long for a Colorado track and field alum to make their way onto the Team USA 2020 Olympic Track and Field team after Joe Klecker finished third in the men’s 10,000-meter run finals here Friday evening at the first day of the USATF Olympic Trials.

Klecker had to drop a 54.54 second final quarter-mile in the 6.2 mile long race to earn his spot on the team. After the 4,000-meter mark, Klecker never left the top-10 and was in second to start the final 2,000-meters of the race. He dropped to third with 1,200-meters remaining but covered the final 800-meters in 1:58.36 to secure his spot on his first Olympic team.

Nike’s Woody Kincaid, a native of Colorado, won the race in 27:53.62, while Grant Fisher finished second in 27:54.29. Klecker finished right on Fisher’s heels, a place he stayed at for most of the race, finishing in 27:54.90.

Klecker becomes the first male Buff to run at the Olympics in the 10,000 since his professional coach and former Buff legend Dathan Ritzenhein did in London in 2012. He becomes the fourth CU alum to run the 10k at the Olympics, joining Ritzenhein’s two appearances, Jorge Torres’ 2008 appearance and Kara Goucher’s 2008 appearance.

The Buffs now own two of the first three Pac-12 Olympic positions this year as Morgan Pearson was the first for the men in the triathlon and Klecker is the third following Fisher’s finish .61 seconds ahead of him. Galen Rupp, Jake Riley and Abdi Abdirahman are also conference representatives after qualifying in the marathon in February of 2020 where the Conference of Champions swept the men’s spots.

The Buffaloes also favored well in the women’s 1,500 first round with Jenny Simpson and Dani Jones advancing to the semifinals. Simpson was the top qualifier in 4:11.34 out of the first heat while Jones ran 4:13.47 to place second in the second heat and advance. Micaela Degenero finished 26th overall in 4:18.33 and will not advance.

Also for the former CU athletes, both Maddie Alm and Carrie Verdon moved on to the finals in the women’s 5,000 out of the first heat. Alm ran the third-best time today in 15:31.43 while Verdon finished with the ninth-best mark at 15:32.87.

The women’s 5,000 semifinals continue tomorrow at 7:40 p.m. MT while the women’s 5,000 finals start Monday at 6:40 p.m. The women’s steeplechase will be the next event for the Buffs to join in on the action with the first round starting Sunday at 7:35 p.m. with Emma Coburn, Val Constien, Sara Vaughn and Madie Boreman all competing.

Continue reading story here

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June 17th 

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

14 Past and Present Buffs competing for Olympic berths

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado track and field will have fourteen current and former members of the program compete at the 2021 USATF Olympic Trials that begin Friday June 18 and conclude Sunday June 27, including four current members that will run in the black and gold.

The four current student-athletes are Sage Hurta in the women’s 800, Eduardo Herrera in the men’s 5,000, Madie Boreman in the women’s steeplechase and Micaela Degenero in the women’s 1,500. The former athletes are Dani Jones in the women’s 1,500, Jenny Simpson in the women’s 1,500 and 5,000, Emma Coburn in the women’s steeplechase, Val Constien in the women’s steeplechase, Sara Vaughn in the women’s steeplechase, Joe Klecker in the men’s 5,000 and 10,000, Maddie Alm in the women’s 5,000, Carrie Verdon in the women’s 5,000 and 10,000, Laura Thweatt in the women’s 10,000 and Makena Morley in the women’s 10,000.

The Buffs have two athletes ranked in the top-3 in their respected events, Olympians Jenny Simpson in the 1,500 and Emma Coburn in the steeplechase. Coburn is the top-ranked American in the steeplechase at 9:02.35. Simpson is second in the 1,500 with a personal-best of 3:57.22.

Colorado has seven total marks inside the top-10 in the US heading to the trials. After the two top-three marks, Val Constien is fourth in the steeplechase, Klecker is seventh in the 5,000 and 10,000, Simpson is eighth in the 5,000 and Jones is 10th in the 1,500.

The first event for Colorado will be the women’s 1,500 first round where the three CU women will look to finish top-six in their heats of 10 or have one of the six next fastest times. Simpson owns the fastest mark in her heat while Jones is third and Degenero is ninth. The second round will consist of the top-five in each heat of 12 advancing to finals with the next two fastest times for the women’s final where the top-three will represent the US at the Olympics if they have gone under the Olympic Standard mark.

The men’s 10,000 is the first final on the track for CU where 25 men will battle for three spots. Klecker has the fifth-best 10,000 for an American this year but is ranked seventh heading into the final based on personal bests.

Events will be live streamed and televised on NBC and NBCSN. A few events for Buffs are not scheduled to be streamed and those include the women’s steeplechase first round, all of the rounds of the men’s 5,000 and the women’s 800 first two rounds. Live results including heat sheets released the day before and a schedule of events are available at https://trialsresults.usatf.org/.

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June 13th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Saga Hurta earns All-American honors with second-place finish in 1,500 at NCAA Championships

From CUBuffs.com … Colorado track and field picked up a pair of First Team All-American finishes here Saturday in the final day of competition at the 2021 NCAA Championships.

Sage Hurta finished as the national runner-up in the women’s 1,500-meter in 4:09.42 while Micaela Degenero earned her first All-American honor as a Buff after finishing sixth in 4:11.26.

Hurta came into the race having run the fastest semifinal in NCAA history in 4:08.88. Off the gun, Hurta and Degenero both went to the front with Hurta on the outside. Alabama’s Amaris Tyynismaa took the lead after the first 300 as Hurta sat in third. The women went through in 69 seconds as Degenero got bunched back in ninth. Hurta earned positioning on the shoulder of the Alabama leader as the women hit the 800 meters remaining mark while Degenero sat in 10th and moved out with 600 left to begin covering moves. Hurta took the lead with a little more than a lap left with Degenero trailing in ninth. Hurta began leading as Anna Camp of BYU covered. Camp sat on Hurta’s shoulder as Donaghu from Stanford sat behind around the final bend. Camp passed Hurta with 80 meters left as Hurta began tying up, but Hurta held off Donaghu for second. Degenero picked up three spots in the final 200 to finish as a First Team All-American. Camp won in 4:08.53.

“Well in Sage’s case, she’s coming in here with all the pressure, everybody after her and it’s awfully hard your senior year with professional ranks waiting, being the favorite, it’s just really aggravating,” said head coach Mark Wetmore. “She looked a little flat in the last 100 meters, a little bit collapsed. Maybe a little tactical error moving too soon earlier in the race, perhaps. But second place, what a great year, great senior year. She’s been a tremendous buffalo. She goes into the pantheon.”

“Micaela is a good closer if she keeps near it,” said Wetmore. “Then she smells blood and goes after it. She was feeling a little flat after the first round. I have to say their first round was impressive going 4:09, but they were carrying a little more fatigue than the 4:13 heat. So she felt a little tired going in and maybe let the race get away from her some. Very, very pleased with the last 400. Very pleased for her to get sixth. I don’t know that she’s ever even made it here before so if this is her first outdoor NCAA to get sixth, and she’s got a year to go. Good stuff.”

Continue reading story here

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June 3rd

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU alum Morgan Pearson qualifies for the Olympics as a triathlete

From the Daily Camera … Even though Colorado track and field has yet to complete the outdoor season or had the USATF Olympic Trials, CU track and cross country alum Morgan Pearson has already punched his ticket to the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.

The 27-year-old added two more disciplines to his running background and has become one of the world’s top male triathletes since leaving Colorado in 2016. He has since risen to the top of the triathlon world, placing bronze in the 2021 World Triathlon Championships Series in Yokohama, Japan in May to punch his ticket as the first male representative for Team USA. In claiming his first medal, Pearson also became just the third U.S. male to earn a medal at the WTCS.

Thanks to his bronze medal he is now third in the standings after one event and is ranked 16th in the world in the Individual Olympic Qualification Rankings according to triathlon.org.

“It’s really cool and I’m really excited. This was a goal I had when I started doing triathlons,” Pearson said. “I started racing pro in 2018. It’s not only like a goal accomplished but it’s also kind of a dream since I was a little kid.”

Pearson was a five-time indoor All-American and one-time All-American in outdoor during his time in Boulder.

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May 30th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

CU track and field women qualify seven athletes for NCAA Championships

From CUBuffs.com The Colorado track and field women qualified seven student-athletes through to the 2021 NCAA Championships here Saturday evening at the NCAA West Preliminaries.

The women had a stellar day, qualifying three women through in the 1,500, a pair in the 400 hurdles and one in the steeplechase and 5,000. In total, CU will compete eight individuals in nine events at the NCAA Championships in Eugene.

“The women had a great weekend all the way around,” said head coach Mark Wetmore. “Everybody either made it through or ran better than their ranking. Eriana came in ranked 11th so had a good day to make it through but Abbey was a big excitement also getting through. Then Abby Nichols doubling back and running great, very good 5k/10k double for her. So yeah, the woman had an excellent weekend.”

The 1,500-meter trio started things off for the Colorado women. Alone in the first heat, Micaela Degenero had to deal with a trio of Stanford and Arkansas runners. She stuck around the eighth spot, then outkicked three athletes to take the fourth-qualifier spot in 4:12.36, passing Christina Aragon of Stanford and Olivia Howell of Illinois.

In the second heat, Sage Hurta and Rachel McArthur went straight to the second and third spots from the gun. McArthur took the lead while Hurta held the final transition with 800 remaining. Hurta took the lead with 200 meters remaining with McArthur in third around the bend, but the CU women finished 1-2 in 4:12.01 and 4:13.25, respectfully.

“That was very big (to get all three women through),” said Wetmore. “We thought each one of them is good and each one of them should be thought of as a contender. But to get three out of 12 is a pretty tall order. It was the highest we could have hoped for and we got it. And they ran fast”

The Buffs women also qualified through both Abbey Glynn and Eriana Henderson in the 400 hurdles. Henderson was the first through, picking up the third automatic qualifying spot in the second heat. She was the beneficiary of a fall by another athlete but would’ve made it through anyways with her time. Freshman Glynn picked up her first ticket to the NCAA Championships after she finished second in the third and final heat in 58.02.

Madie Boreman is now making her return to the NCAA Championships, nearly four years after her runner-up finish. The senior picked up the first of the ‘next three-fastest time’ qualifier spots after running 9:50.97 in the steeplechase to finish fourth out of the first heat. Her time ended up eighth overall and was faster than two of the automatic qualifiers out of the third heat. Alisa Meraz-Fishbein also ran in the first heat, finishing 36th overall in 10:37.07.

“She was in the final in 2017 and interrupted in all kinds of ways for a few years,” said Wetmore on Boreman’s return. “She’s worked very hard in the last six months to battle back into this thing. We’re pleased that she made it.”

Earning her second qualification was Abby Nichols who ran an excellent 5,000-meter race and finished second overall in 15:58.03. Nichols let Washington’s Haley Herberg take the lead and work hard, while Nichols stuck with a pack of seven for a majority of the race. Slowly individuals kept dropping but Nichols held on, then with 300 meters left she began to move up the pack. Stanford’s Julia Heymach passed Herberg with 200 left in the race and Nichols covered the move and finished the final 100 meters passing BYU’s Whittni Orton to finish second.

“Abby ran the 10,000 and ran very well,” said Wetmore. “She’s been nursing a sore leg a little bit and we weren’t sure this was the right thing to do but she said, ‘I’m here, let’s do it.’ And then, once the gun went off, she was just a terrier, she’s a quiet killer.”

Also for the women in the 5,000, Annie Hill finished 15th in the first heat in 16:39.13 and Kaitlyn Barthell ran 16:43.76 to finish 16tj in the heat. The two finished 28th and 31st overall, respectfully.

The women ended the amazing day with the women’s 4×400 relay of Jaida Drame, Henderson, Tamia Badal and Glynn running 3:38.42 for seventh overall in the first heat. Their time is good for seventh in school history and finished 17th overall.

“Well the women’s 4×4 ran their fastest time of the year, one of the fastest times ever at Colorado and that was not too long after the two women were in the 400 hurdles so all around, very good day,” said Wetmore.

Aaron McCoy was the first CU athlete on the track today as the men’s finals got pushed to Saturday due to rain on Friday. McCoy finished 21st in the 400 hurdles in 53.26 seconds.

The men’s 4×400 of Tyler Williams, McCoy, Ian Gilmore and Ronald Sayles ran 3:06.04 for the 12th-best time on the day, unfortunately not qualifying to the NCAA Championships. Williams had an amazing first leg from the ninth lane, giving McCoy the baton around fourth. The men, who were sitting in a qualifying spot in the final heat, held tight until the handoff to Gilmore where Arkansas snuck by and took the final time qualifier as no more moves extended to the end. The mark is the second-fastest relay in school history.

“The men’s four by four finished one spot out,” said Wetmore. “They ran the fastest time of the year I think they ran the second fastest time ever in Colorado. And for an hour, the team in front of them was being protested, so it was a real nail biter or perhaps a hoof biter. I didn’t see it, Burke didn’t see it, it just popped up as under review. Of course you don’t want to wish for something bad on somebody else, but if there was a foul or somebody ran out of their lane we’d want our team in. It was a long hour then dismissed but they ran really well those guys.”

The men’s 5,000 didn’t go as well as planned. Stuck in the first heat alone, Eduardo Herrera went out with a slow paced heat and paid for it as he was passed in the final 250 meters by two runners and finished sixth, one spot out from an automatic qualifying mark. The second heat, which included John Dressel and Alec Hornecker, went out much faster to take the two time qualifying spots by six seconds as Herrera finished 15th overall in 14:01.69, followed by Hornecker in 24th in 14:16.43 and Dressel in 30th in 14:25.30.  Dressel will be the lone male representative in Eugene after qualifying in the 10,000 Wednesday evening.

“Lalo got stuck in the heat with a lot of really good kickers,” added Wetmore. “Then it went slow. He didn’t kick brilliantly. But he’s looked tired for a couple of weeks, I think maybe I didn’t do the year perfectly with him. He was in monster shape in October and very good shape in April, and I think it was just a bridge too far.”

“Overall very good day for everyone, one disappointment in Lalo and I got to feel that was on me,” said Wetmore.

Colorado will return to action June 9-12 at Hayward Field for the 2021 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

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May 24th

… Citius, Altius, Fortius … 

Ski coach Richard Rokos named to CU Hall of Fame Class of 2021

Bio from CUBuffs.com … Richard Rokos retired this past March after 34 years coaching at Colorado, the last 31 (1991-2021) as head coach of the men’s and women’s ski team … Only two coaches in CU history coached their teams longer than Rokos was at the reins of the skiers: Frank Potts (41 seasons, cross country and track) and Charles Vavra (32 seasons, men’s gymnastics) … Finished as one of the most successful coaches across all sports in school history, winning eight NCAA championships (1991-95-98-99-2006-11-13-15) with nine runner-up finishes and six third place efforts (or 23 top three performances in 31 tries) … The eight national titles are tied for the most by any coach in CU annals (Mark Wetmore has coached eight in cross country); they are the most in skiing, as he bested Bill Marolt’s seven in men’s skiing from 1972-78 … Marolt, who would become CU’s athletic director, named Rokos as head coach on July 3, 1991 … He and his staff coached 46 individual NCAA champions, included three in his final hurrah that brought CU’s all-time total to 100 … During his tenure, 247 skiers earned All-America honors, including first-team on 150 occasions (44 of whom earned two-time first-team honors in the same year) … Also piloted his teams to 14 Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association titles, with CU skiers claiming 65 RMISA/NCAA West Regional titles (the meet served as both) … Named the United States Collegiate Ski Coaches Association National Coach of the Year on five occasions, last in 2015 … The 2006 Buffs performed the greatest comeback within the NCAA’s in history; in sixth-place and down by 52 points after the first day, CU rallied to assume the lead after day three (six events) and won going away by 98 points … His 31 teams competed in 187 collegiate races over his career, winning 73 times and finishing second on another 66 occasions; that’s a top two finish 74 percent of the time (with 28 third place efforts, his teams finished out of the top three just 20 times and out of the top four just four times) … Prior to being named head coach, he was an assistant under Tim LaVallee for the Buffs, coaching the Alpine “B” team for two years before being promoted to alpine coordinator for the 1990 season … A dual citizen of the United States and the Czech Republic, he escaped with his family from communist Czechoslovakia in 1980, making it to the States (Detroit) via Austria, where he and his wife, the former Helena Konecny, and then-18-month-old daughter Linda, spent a year preparing their visas (they moved to Colorado in 1982 and have made it their permanent home) … An ordained minister, he has performed nearly 40 marriages, including at least 20 that involves CU coaches and athletes … He was born May 25, 1950 in Brno, Czechoslovakia.

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15 Replies to “CU Olympic Sports”

  1. Good luck to the Buffs in the Olympics. However I will not be watching much if any of the Olympics as I find rewarding an anti humanitarian, totalitarian country such as China to be offensive.

  2. Damn…..I really feel bad for Emma. Something just wasn’t right……whether it was the heat, a transient “Bug” (virus) or what………..I don’t know.

    I just know it was not TYPICAL of Emma to be that far behind in the final lap and I believe that influenced her physically which led to her proprioception error by misjudging her landing which caused the fall.

    It’s really the $h*#ts to have to wait another 4 years to prove her performance in this Olympics was just a red herring….. that is, if she even wants to.

    Still proud of you Emma….. you are Total Buff.

    1. I liked his tweet that this would be the first time he has traveled outside of the United States.
      That’s one way to get your passport stamped!

  3. Congratulations to the lacrosse team for defeating USC and advancing to the PAC-12 championship. Always nice to beat SC.

  4. Just in case you missed it
    The Lady Buffs soccer team plays Tuesday at 5 pm in the first
    round of the NCAA tourney,

    Its at 5 pm mountain time and will be shown
    on ncaa.com

    Go Buffs.

    Note They are pretty dang good

  5. It is totally clear those 100 AD wannabe’s are uneducated.
    Middle Note: I am allowed to say this because of the perception rule in the survey

    If you don’t know the Mighty Buffs…………………..you don’t now SH*T
    Sit down and shut up.

    Go buffs, Kick those teams arses.

    Middle Note: I am allowed to say this because of the perception rule in the survey

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